THE “art lure” anglers continue to impress. I notice the passion these folk have for the preservation of the fish they passionately catch and return to the waters. One such fellow, John Eary, caught a 12kg cob in the Swartkops recently.
The photograph shows the use of a “lip grip” being used to handle the fish. This way the catch is handled without undue stress and damage to the slime layer that covers the scales.
The gills are not damaged and this technique actually immobilises the fish as well. This aids the return of the catch.
There is great speculation regarding the choice of lures.
There are those that rattle, those that have sharp colour contrasts, and those that have an action that assimilates a wounded fish.
Personally, I think they all work but conditions dictate the choice of lure. What works one day does not necessarily work the next.
I am no expert in this field as I have caught most of my fish on bait. I am essentially a sardine man as there are many ways to work sardine to produce an irresistible morsel. But it can be a little messy, and everybody will know you have been fishing.
The sardines are late this year, I am told. The line fishing boats are suffering poor catches. The chokka are also absent and all and sundry are looking for the reason.
The exploration drills are about and the first question asked is: “Has that got any influence on this observation of pure fish activity on the open seas?”
The summer rains were late and remain late in certain areas of the Cape interior.
The winds have been favourable, with easterlies and westerlies prevailing, which aerate the water-producing activity with fishing trends.
The northerly and southern winds create fishing calms which are good for the recreational outdoors folk.
However, the windy conditions have not produced fish for the commercial sectors.
You be the judge.
The Kromme River is probably the most productive of our estuaries this time of year but the fishing has been poor of late, so I am told by the locals.
They usually enjoy a good pre-season catch before the intense activity on the water drives the fish off the bite.
Unfortunately, heavy boating activity during these seasonal times does impact on the estuaries and the fish behaviour. I am sure it has a lot to do with the food source the fish feed off, too.
This is one of the main reasons why jet-skis have been restricted on most estuaries. These craft travel in shallow water and impact on the life forms that dwell there.
These jet motors draw in water and then blast it out, creating the propulsion that drives them.
All small organisms that are in that water body used for propulsion are compromised, and for that reason they are restricted.
So, while recognising these as exciting recreational craft, I believe it would preferable their use be limited to the deep water of the sea rather than the sensitive shallow tidal zones of the estuaries.
Safety to other water users is another factor to be considered.
There are plans to allow the launch of jet-skis on the Swartkops River, just under the Settlers Bridge, where these craft may then proceed out to sea. No upstream river use will be permitted.
These craft will need to be fully compliant and inquiries can be made at the beach office.